"Skirt Power" works on many levels, in different ways for different audiences
The title of this well-produced mythic story from Mali translates as "Skirt Power". For its domestic audience, the story is probably highly comical. For an audience in the industrialized world, the comic aspect is less important. It's a nice, well-told story with a very clear point: women deserve an equal say with men in the way their and their families lives are led. Taafé Fanga makes this simple though profound point by connecting contemporary reality with the collective memory of the not-so-distant past and from there to the mythic origins of the Dogon people and their culture of masks, dance and legend. The Dogon of course are one of the world's great mystery peoples, whose ancient cosmology is based on the 50-year cycle of the Star Sirius B - the existence of which was not discovered by Western Science until the 1960s.
In any case, the drama revolves around a role reversal of the sexes, with men and women reversing their respective characteristic roles and mannerism. The really interesting aspect of this reversal for me was the way that each sex accepted its new role as a fait accompli; a nice commentary on the arbitrary nature of sex roles (in Mali and everywhere else).
An added bonus to this charming film is the high production values - top-notch photography and editing, well-paced, beautiful. Not a perfect film by any means, but a strong production which can stand side-by-side comparison with a major studio release from any country.
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